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Tag Archive VMware

One of the great things about being a customer of a SaaS delivered monitoring service like LogicMonitor is that they can get best practices in monitoring of all sorts of technologies without having to have an expert in that technology on staff.

A recent example when LogicMonitor updated some of the CPU datapoints used for VMware monitoring. Read more »

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Our digs here at LogicMonitor are cozy. Being adjacent to sales, I get to hear our sales engineers work with new customers, and it’s not uncommon that a new customer gets a rude awakening when they first install LogicMonitor. Immediately, LogicMonitor starts showing warnings and alerts.  ”Can this be right or is this a monitoring error?!”,  they ask. Delicately, our engineer will respond, “I don’t think that’s a monitoring error. It looks like you have a problem there.”

This happened recently with a customer who wanted to use LogicMonitor to watch their large VMware installation. We make excellent use of the VMware API which provides a rich set of data sources for monitoring. In this instance, LogicMonitor’s default alert settings threw several warnings about an ESX host’s datastore. There were multiple warnings regarding write latency problems on the ESX datastore, and drilling down, we found that a singular VM on that datastore was an ‘I/O hog’ that was grabbing so much disk resource that it was causing disk contention among the other VMs.

Finding the rogue host was easy with LogicMonitor’s clear, easy to read graphs. With the disk I\O of the different VMs plotted on the same graph, it was easy to spot the one whose disk operations were significantly higher than the rest.

Write latency on VMware ESX hostWe’ve seen this particular problem with VMware enough that our founder, Steve Francis, made this short video on how to quickly identify which VM on an ESX host is hogging resources: (Caveat: You must be able to understand Austrailian)

All our monitoring data sources have default alerting levels set that you can tune to fit your needs, but they’re pretty close out of the box as they’re the product of a LOT of monitoring experience.  This customer didn’t have to make any adjustments to our alert levels to find a problem they were unaware of with potential customer-facing impacts. The resolution was easy, they moved the VM to another ESX host with a different datastore, but the detection tool was the key.

If you’re wondering about your VMware infrastructure, sign up for a free trial with LogicMonitor today and see what you’ve been missing.

- This article was contributed by Jeffrey Barteet, TechOps Engineer at LogicMonitor

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While most may not see Microsoft as a ‘disruptive innovator’ anymore, they seem to be claiming exactly that role in the enterprise hypervisor space, just as they did in gaming with the Xbox. As noted in “VMware, the bell tolls for thee, and Microsoft is ringing it“, Hyper-V appears to be becoming a legitimate competitor to VMware’s dominant ESXi product.  As described in the article, people reportedly now widely believe that “Microsoft functionality is now ‘good enough’” in the hypervisor – and it’s clearly cheaper (in license terms, at least.)  So is this change in perception really turning into more enterprises choosing Hyper-V?

From LogicMonitor’s view of the situation, we can say that in our customer base, virtualization platforms have been almost entirely VMware in the enterprise and most private cloud providers, with some Xen and Xenserver in the cloud provider space.  But, we have also been seeing more Hyper-V deployments being monitored in the last 6 months.   Still a lot less in absolute numbers than the number of ESXi infrastructures being added to LogicMonitor: but the rate of growth in Hyper-V is certainly higher.

This sounds like a “low-end disruption” classic case study from the Innovator’s Dilemma (Clayton M. Christensen), except for the fact that the Innovator is a $250 billion company!

Right now, Microsoft seems to offer the ‘good enough’ feature set and enterprise features, and ‘good enough’ support, reliability and credibility, leading to some adoption in the enterprise datacenter. (From our biased point of view – the metrics exposed by VMware’s ESXi for monitoring are much better than those exposed by Hyper-V. But perhaps Hyper-V is ‘good enough’ here, too…)  There are lots of ways this could play out – VMware has already dropped the vRam pricing; Microsoft being cheaper in license terms may not make it cheaper in total cost of ownership in the enterprise; VMware is starting to push VMware Go, which could turn into a significant disruptor itself.

So can the $250 billion Microsoft really prove to be more nimble than the $37 billion VMware? History would suggest Microsoft will deliver a solid product (eventually). Hypervisors themselves are becoming commodities. So the high dollar value will shift upward to management.  VMware may chase the upward value (like the integrated steel mills did, that were largely disrupted out of existence); they may go after the commodity space (reducing their profit margins, but possibly protecting their revenue).  Or they may push VMware Go, Cloud Foundry, and other cloud offerings, disrupting things entirely in another direction.

Of course, there are many other possibilities that could play the role of disruptor in the enterprise hypervisor space: Citrix (Xenserver) and KVM spring to mind, but these (currently) tend to play better in the large data center cloud space, rather than the enterprise.

Still, VMware is very much in a position of strength and is well suited to lead the next round of innovation which I see as the release of a product which allows for the movement of VM’s seamlessly from my own infrastructure to a cloud provider’s and back, while maintaining control, security and performance (and monitoring) that IT is accustomed to.  Let’s see if I am right. Fun times ahead!

- This article was contributed by Steve Francis, founder and Chief Product Officer at LogicMonitor

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Well it actually turns out it was completely full.  When MSPmentor picked up the story about LogicMonitor going to the San Diego VMUG to talk virtualization monitoring, they chose a photo of a surfer riding a giant wave to accompany the article. We thought it was in reference to San Diego, but after attending the VMware User’s Group conference we now realize it could have just as easily been a visual metaphor for the VMUG wave that’s breaking, in nicely-timed sets, across the nation.

We waxed up our Surfliner, paddled south and dropped in. The conference was great for us from a vendor perspective – lots of smart, friendly, interested IT people – and by default they were VMware junkies and so perfect potential LogicMonitor clients. We believe that virtually (pun partially intended) every VMware user that takes a look at LogicMonitor will become a client.  (Monitoring a vCenter – which could control any number of ESX Hosts, which could translate into literally hundreds of virtual machines – counts as one host when it comes to our SaaS charges?  Come on!  We thought about wearing shirts that said “stick it to us” but were afraid of gross (in more ways than one) misinterpretations.)  Our ability to monitor and alert on not only VMware but the entire IT infrastructure surrounding it – from storage to networking gear all the way up to application statistics (Apache, IIS) and databases (MySQL, MS SQL) – all in a single pane of glass makes us a slam dunk.  Add in lightning quick setup, true ease-of-use (we don’t just say it, it’s true) , cool dashboards and graphs, real-time business metrics, etc., and it’s a one-handed 360 slam dunk.

The event was pretty jam packed, and, along with handing out microwave popcorn swag to everyone who walked by (did you know some workplaces actually ban popcorn making at the office! Isn’t that un-American?), we took a very un-scientific survey of the attendees that stopped by the table.  Most of them had great things to say about the event.  Which might explain why there are now more than twenty VMUG events scheduled around the U.S. for the second half of the year.  Shaping up to be a pretty decent sized and tempting looking wave.  Looks like we better stock up on sunscreen.  Oh, and popcorn – bans be damned!

View Photos of the event

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Amongst its many monitoring methods, LogicMonitor supports IPMI.  Many people aren’t aware of IPMI, and don’t think  it’s necessary. And while I’m certainly an advocate of avoiding unnecessary complexity in a data center, sometimes it is good to wear both a belt and suspenders.

A real life example from one of our own data centers conveniently occurred just this morning, when I was looking for fodder to blog about: Read more »

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Agile Monitoring Support

Posted by & filed under SysAdmins, Tips & Troubleshooting .

We recently had a customer come into trial looking around for a new monitoring solution.  This is always good for us.  We love the takeaway.  (Customers defecting from other monitoring systems to us.) As in most takeaway situations this customer had specific needs.  Now there are the obvious ones in which LogicMonitor easily fits the bill such as alerting, dashboards, performance monitoring, etc (and if you fall into that VMWare, Cisco, NetApp sweet spot, game over!).  This guy however, had a very specific need we didn’t fulfill directly out of the gates.  I think anyone who has ever worked with a monitoring solution knows that it’s hard to find one that does everything.  Well in the case of LogicMonitor this is no different.  We don’t do EVERYTHING.  I know, you thought I was going to get all high and mighty and talk about how LogicMonitor is the one monitoring tool that CAN do everything.  Well Read more »

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I was invited to talk to an MSP peer group the other week, and during the presentation, one of the group members who was a LogicMonitor customer described a way they use LogicMonitor to solve a previously hard-to-solve VMWare operational issue. Read more »

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